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Award Submissions

All graduate students who submit an abstract by the Abstract Submission Deadline are eligible to submit a 5- to 6-page paper for award consideration. To be considered for an award, you must carefully follow the guidelines below and your abstract must be accepted for presentation in the Symposium.

A multidisciplinary judging panel of selected W&M faculty and experts in the disciplines will rank the papers anonymously. The judging panel retains the right to eliminate award categories based upon number and quality of paper submissions.

Awards will be presented at the Symposium's Friday afternoon Poster Session & Networking Reception.

Please contact [[grs]] prior to submitting your award paper if you have questions.

Eligibility and Requirements
  1. Must be a graduate student who intends to present at the 2024 Graduate & Honors Research Symposium (GHRS) and submits an abstract by the Abstract Submission Deadline.
  2. To be considered for an award you must submit by the deadline a 5- to 6-page paper that describes the research to be presented at the GHRS. Submissions received after the deadline and/or that do not comply with all guidelines (listed below) will be disqualified from consideration for an award.
  3. Paper submissions must be primarily the work of the graduate student who is submitting the paper, and the submitter has the responsibility to obtain permission from co-authors prior to submission.
  4. VIMS students will be judged in the Visiting categories. Graduate students must select only one field in which to compete. See below for the list of fields.
  5. Award winners will be notified prior to the GHRS and are asked to attend the Awards Ceremony during the GHRS.
  6. TIP: Read the Judging Requirements listed below to help you formulate your paper.
Application Guidelines

Please review the following instructions carefully to ensure that your submission is eligible for the competition and that it is judged in the correct category. Submissions that do not comply with one or more of the following instructions will be disqualified.

  • Deadline for Award Submissions: January 15, 2024, 11:59 p.m. (ET).
  • Do not include your name, co-author names, or institutional affiliation anywhere on the paper including in the footnotes. Papers are to be judged blindly.
  • Length: no more than six (6) double-spaced pages of text.
  • Formatting:
    • Papers must be submitted in 12-point Times New Roman font with 1" margins on all sides.
    • The text must be a single column. Papers received that are in two-column format will be rejected.
    • Include a title on the first page. Do not include your abstract in your submission.
    • Place all charts, figures, images, references, bibliography, etc., after the last page of text, as appendices. They do not count toward the six-page limit if they are included after the last page of text.
  • A paper already accepted for and/or previously printed in a journal or other publication is ineligible for consideration.
  • Save your paper as a PDF document with a filename that lists judging category first (Humanities or Sciences) followed by your name, e.g.: humanities_doe_john.
  • Ensure your PDF appears exactly the way you want before submitting it. You may not resubmit a paper with corrections after initial submission.
  • Email your submission as an attachment to [[grs]]. In the email's subject, you must indicate which award field you intend to compete in:
    • W&M A&S Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences
    • W&M A&S Natural, Computational, & Psychological Sciences
    • Visiting & VIMS Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences
    • Visiting & VIMS Natural & Computational Sciences 
Further Submission Information
  • You will receive an email confirmation of your submission within two business days. If you do not receive a confirmation, please email
  • Decisions made by the Symposium's Award Committees are final; there is no appeals process.
  • In the event that a paper submitted wins an award and has co-authors, the award check will be issued to the person who submits the paper. Certificates will be printed and issued to the co-authors at the Awards Ceremony.
  • You may apply again in future years. However, that the William & Mary's Honor Code prohibits students from submitting the same paper twice for award consideration. Work that is created as a result of the original submission or builds upon its theory, method, etc. may be submitted in subsequent years. This usually means that the original work has had a period of at least a year for substantial alteration and development so that it reflects on-going scholarship.

Award paper submissions that do not follow all of the above guidelines or are submitted after the deadline will not be considered or acknowledged.

Judging Criteria

In determining the quality of the paper, judges will look for:

  1. A clear statement of the problem/question;
  2. The methods used to address the problem/question and the use of evidence;
  3. Identification of original contributions and contributions by other scholars;
  4. Statement of conclusions or progress to date (the research need not be finished); and
  5. Presentation, which can include style, graphics, and references.